There are three general classes of misdemeanors charged in Colorado courts. Class one misdemeanors are charged in the more serious cases, and class three misdemeanors are generally a step up in severity from petty offenses. If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense, it is important to speak with an attorney to accurately determine what the consequences, including sentencing range, will be. A chart is provided below as a general guideline for standard sentencing ranges. However, this graph may be wrong in your case. Many charges and cases are subject to modified sentencing ranges based on the type of crime charged, prior offenses, and/or aggravating factors. As a general guideline only, we offer this graph based on the statutes governing sentencing ranges that do not account for any of the exceptions or modifications described above:
|Class 1 Misdemeanor||6-18 months|
|Class 2 Misdemeanor||3-12 months|
|Class 3 Misdemeanor||0-6 months|
At Ready Law, we believe it is nearly impossible for an accused to make an informed decision about any potential offers from the prosecution, or to accurately consider the risk of going to trial, without knowing the sentencing range for their specific charges. It is therefore very important not to rely on the graph above as a definitive determination of the sentencing range applicable to your case. That determination requires a knowledge of all the applicable sentencing laws and rules, which is best obtained by discussing your specific case and charges with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.
Jail Time, Probation, Fees and Costs
Some misdemeanor convictions, including some class one and two misdemeanor cases, result in no jail time at all. Judges have discretion in many cases to impose a period of probation in place of jail. Probation usually requires payment of associated costs, participation in programs like alcohol classes and monitoring, and regular check-ins with a probation officer. To learn more about alleged probation violations, click here.
Fees and costs are to be expected if an accused is convicted. Those fees and costs vary based upon the type and classification of the misdemeanor, the level of probation ordered, if any, as well as several other factors that can be better understood in detailed discussions with an attorney.
Unlike felonies, those misdemeanor charges that do result in incarceration generally involve incarceration in the county or city jail, and not the Colorado Department of Corrections (prison), and have no parole requirement upon completion of the ordered time. Misdemeanor charges in Colorado are more likely to be eligible for diversion programs, deferred judgments, and/or record sealing. Finally, in addition to shorter sentencing ranges and lower fines when compared to felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions do not result in the loss of any voting rights, even during jail sentences.
Despite being generally less serious than felony charges, misdemeanor cases can result in serious jail time and major disruptions in the life of the accused. Misdemeanor convictions can also change how other cases are sentenced, they can violate felony probation or parole, and have the potential to impact a person’s career and job prospects in the future. If you are facing misdemeanor charges, they should be taken seriously. Call our office and get Ready to get to work on your best defense.